HC Deb 04 July 1843 vol 70 cc615-30
Mr. Hutt,

in bringing forward the motion of which he had given notice, said he could not allow another Session to pass without, calling the attention of the House to a question so intimately connected with the interest and prosperity of our merchants and shipowners. There was no excuse for the delay which had been exhibited in dealing with this affair. It was only necessary that the Government should have followed in the steps of their predecessors, and should have carried out with vigour the measures begun by his noble Friend, the Member for Tiverton, to have ensured the settlement of the question long ago. They had now waited two years, and the matter had not advanced a step; for the Government had in fact abandoned all rational attempts for bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. It was a question of the greatest importance, the House was probably not aware of its intimate connection with our commercial prosperity. The United States alone excepted, Germany was the country to which the greatest amount of our exports went. During the past year, notwithstanding the depression of trade, the declared value of our exports to that country amounted to between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000, five-sixths of which passed into Germany by the channel of the Elbe, and this fell under the operation of the Stade dues. The Government would not dispute the injurious effects of such a toll on British trade—nor could they deny, that at least in the extent in which it was levied, this toll was illegal. Well then, why had the Government not interfered to remove it? There it remained exactly where it was when the present Government took office, and all the consolation which the right hon. Baronet could give him in reply to a question put by him not many clays ago, was an expression of his sorrow, that he could not give him the slightest notion when this evil could be removed. Here was a petty state of Germany, year after year levying arbitrary imposts on our merchants, accompanied with various acts of insult and oppression, yet the British Minister was not only unable to afford them any redress, but could not give them any assurance, that the grievance would ever be discontinued. It was high time that Parliament should he put in possession of the correspondence between her Majesty's Government, and the Crown of Hanover on the subject. If they were to be so humiliated—if they were to be sufferers to so great an extent in this matter—for God's sake let them know the reason why. Why did the Government not pursue in reference to this question, as they had in regard to so many others, the policy of their predecessors? Was it said, that they did not approve of that policy? A few months ago it was declared, that they did approve of it, and one of Lord Aberdeen's first acts on coming into office was to declare to the states bordering on the river Elbe his adherence to the policy of his predecessor, in regard to the Stade toll; and in order that there might be no mistake in the matter, the noble Earl transmitted to them an important despatch of the noble Lord, who preceded him in the Foreign-office, thoroughly explanatory of his views. This announcement was hailed by the north of Germany with feelings of the greatest satisfaction. A distinguished individual, holding a high situation at Hamburg, writing to inform him (Mr. Hutt) of the fact, alluded to this circumstance as a proof of the greatness of this country. For," said he, "it matters little what set of public men are in the Ministry, or what party is uppermost, the great interests of your country are always steadily pursued." Having made this formal communication, Lord Aberdeen appears to have changed his mind as to its propriety. He rejected Lord Palmerston's policy, and commenced negotiations with Hanover on a policy of his own. A treaty was then proposed by Hanover for our approval, he was happy to say, it was rejected; but the Government having rejected this treaty, and having declined to pursue the policy of his noble Friend, the Member for Tiverton, seem to have come to the end of their wisdom. They knew not what course to propose; but, hearing that the states bordering on the Elbe were about to assemble at Dresden, they determined—the British Government determined—to apply to the petty states of Germany to redress the grievance. Was this the way, he would ask, to uphold the dignity and character of the British nation? The plan was as futile as it was undignified. Was there a rational man who entertained a hope, that by such means the matter could be brought to a satisfactory termination? If the states bordering on the Elbe could have settled the matter, it would long since have been brought to a settlement. In Germany, the project excited universal ridicule. The Government proposed to the state of Hamburg, by whose means its wishes were conveyed to the Elbe commission, to make a suggestion as a basis of a settlement, not only at variance with the views of the noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) but at variance with the treaty of Vienna. The proposition was rejected by Hamburg, with something approaching to scorn. No settlement was, therefore, made; the matter was left to Providence; and the King of Hanover continued to collect his black mail from British merchants, and the British Government offered no opposition. Year after year this state of things was allowed to continue injurious to our commerce and dishonourable to our flag. The Government declared that they could not mend the matter. Under these circumstances, he appealed to the House, whether it was not high time to take measures to redress so notorious a grievance? Was it ever to come to an end? He trusted he should meet the independent support of all those hon. Gentlemen opposite who were alive to the interests of their country and preferred its welfare to any party considerations. It might probably appear to some, that the supporters of this motion were actuated by feelings of hostility to the King of Hanover. From such a charge, he (Mr. Hutt) must at least claim exemption for he had brought forward this question long before his present Majesty ascended the throne of Hanover, with as much zeal and earnestness as at the present moment. He begged, moreover, the House to bear in mind, that he had attended in his place last Friday, for the purpose of recording his vote in opposition to the motion of the hon. Member for Montrose, having for its object the discontinuance of the allowance made to that monarch by this country. He was no admirer of the King of Hanover. In his opinion, the tenacity with which that Sovereign clung to his pension, was sufficiently degrading, and quite enough if there were no other case to justify the hostility and alienation which prevailed towards him in this country. Still he considered that Parliament could not honorably withhold it, and he had voted very contrary to the popular wish—for continuing the pension of the King of Hanover. While, however, he felt bound to secure to him his just rights, he would take care that he got nothing more. He would do all in his power to prevent him from levying year after year, contributions on our commerce a thousand times more mischievous to British interests, than the annuity under consideration on Friday last. If the House would give him its support on the present occasion, the Government would at last be roused from their lethargy, and compelled to take the necessary steps for vindicating the honour and protecting the mercantile interests of this country. The hon. Member concluded by moving,— That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to direct that there be laid before this House, copies of any correspondence which may have taken place between her Majesty's Government and that of Hanover, relative to the taxes levied on British commerce and navigation in the river Elbe, under the name of Stade tolls.

Sir J. Hanmer

seconded the motion. The hon. Member for Gateshead, had been long known as careful of every thing that fostered the interests of the country; and as the hon. Member's successor, he might justly say he had found his merits appreciated by his constituents. The question had been argued before, and was perfectly understood by Parliament and the country. The vagueness of the tolls, the pretensions on which they rested, and the general inconvenience which the commerce of this country suffered from them, were recognised, and what they now desired to ascertain was, the steps which had been taken to relieve British commerce from this burthen, which it was rather extraordinary to find existing in this year, 1843, considering the long connexion of Hanover with this country. He thought it was high time that the Government should explain what was the condition of the negotiations, and what was the hope of their being brought to a speedy and satisfactory termination.

Mr. Gladstone

was perfectly satisfied with the honour and the candour of the motives with which the hon. Gentleman pursued his object, and he was glad he was able to think better of the spirit with which the hon. Gentleman was animated, than the hon. Gentleman did of the Government; for he fully acknowledged that the hon. Gentleman had no other object than the public interest in view in bringing forward this motion, which had no reference to party feeling. Still he thought the House would find a difficulty in acceding to the motion which had now been suggested by the hon. Gentleman, and that it would be very easy for him to show—without giving any opinion on the merits of the case itself—that it was a motion which the House ought not to entertain. There were, however, a few of the incidental statements of the hon. Gentleman on which he would offer a few words. The hon. Gentleman said, that the Government found that when they took office in 1841 the elements of a satisfactory arrangement. That allegation, however, was susceptible of two interpretations. No doubt many of the elements were satisfactory to one party. It was true that her Majesty's Government did, on coming into power, find in the Foreign-office a clear and able statement, of the view which the noble Lord took of this question, and which limited the right of Hanover to 1–16th per cent., pursuant to the convention of 1791, and the noble Lord declared, absolutely and strongly, the determination of the previous Government to negotiate only on that basis; but so far from any progress being made towards a concurrence, Hanover objected to the arrangement of the noble Lord, and repudiated it without hesitation. There was no approximation between the parties, and no pledge that either would abate anything of its extreme claims, so that they were as far apart as possible. Without casting any blame upon the late Government—and this was not the time or the place to discuss the point—he must remind the hon. Gentleman who complained of these matters having been two years under discussion, that for many more than two years, or even than ten years, this question had been made matter of discussion between the two Governments; and if the only topic for discussion now were the division of the censure and crimination and recrimination between the late and the present Government, he thought he could show that only a small proportion of the blame would fall upon the present Government. He had no intention, however, at that moment, of making any charge against the preceding Government, for even if he could make his charge good, it would not avail him as a vindication of the conduct of the present. The hon. Gentleman said next, that no progress had been made in this question, and he represented the head of the Government to have made a statement which, if it had been represented accurately, must have been most unsatisfactory to the hon. Gentleman and to others interested in the commerce of this country. The hon. Gentleman said, that his right hon. Friend had declared he was sorry to say that he had not the slightest notion when the evils which pressed upon British commerce with regard to the Stade duties would be remedied; and also, that he was utterly unable to give any assurance that the grievance would ever be discontinued. Now he had attentively listened to all that had passed in the House, and the hon. Gentleman had certainly been misled by the warmth of his zeal for British commerce into a declaration which did not correspond with the real state of the fact. Yet the hon. Gentleman had founded his motion on these very words, and it would be a ground, if it were true in point of fact, quite sufficient for enquiry. If the Government had not the slightest notion when the evil would be remedied, and if he could not give any assurance or guarantee to the House that it would ever be discontinued, then it would be perfectly open for the hon. Gentleman's Government, having declared the case to be hopeless, to call upon the Parliament to take part, and to vindicate the rights and interests of British commerce. But no such declaration had ever been made by the British Government; on the contrary, there was nothing in present circumstances which made them think there was a hopeless difficulty attending the settlement of this question. He admitted that this was a serious matter, affecting the interests of British commerce. Still he could not admit that there was anything discouraging in the present state of the negotiations In explanation of what had taken place he would briefly, but emphatically, say that nothing had been done with the petty states of Germany, or with the great states of Germany, which impaired in any manner, the liberty, or tied the hands of the British Government. There was no pledge given or implied that this country would abide by the decision of the Congress. The British Government would use their own free and independent action if the course taken by other countries did not agree with the interests of our own. When the late Government were in and their arrangement, on which alone they declared they would negotiate, was rejected, there seemed to be no alternative except the miserable expedient of force. When they considered how much the commercial departments of the present Government, and how much the time of his right hon. Friend had been occupied during the last Session, he thought that the Government deserved credit rather than otherwise for having made any progress. Still, however that might be, progress had been made. The parties had arrived at the point where they could not agree. The hon. Gentleman might be assured that, by the suspension of the negotiations, in consequence of the conference at Dresden, the Government did not bind itself to abide by the decision there; neither did it tie itself up not to renew the negotiations. It reasonably appeared to her Majesty's Government that if the Elbe bordering states should adopt such a line of conduct as corresponded with the interests of this country, there would be a hope of arriving at an universal settlement of the question, which would not be the case if we alone made an arrangement. It would not be difficult for him to justify the proceedings of the Government with regard to the Elbe-bordering states. There was nothing to impair the free exercise of the powers of this country. But, then, it was said that the Government should not be satisfied to leave the matter for consideration or discussion by the Elbe-bordering states, and that if they did there was no hope of a speedy issue. He was not aware that there was anything in the character of the German nation which so disqualified them from giving an opinion upon political or commercial questions or which would make it impossible to arrive at a satisfactory adjustment; on the contrary, he believed that, by this discussion, they would be better able to do justice; for he believed that, as the German states were large importers of goods, and these dues heightened the price of articles, they would assist in requiring their diminution. If the Government were not satisfied with the part taken by those states, they would be willing to resume negotiations; indeed, he had hoped that he would have been enabled that very day to communicate something to the House in reference to the resumption. Mr. M'Gregor, our able consul at Elsinore, who was known to the world as an efficient officer, had attended the conference at Dresden, not to take any part in the proceedings, but to give any friendly aid or advice of which he might be capable. The Government, however, had now taken the matter into their own hands, and had recalled Consul M'Gregor, who might, by the course of the post, have been home that evening, but being at the time he received his recal engaged with some matters of detail which were of value to the commercial interests of the states, he had not yet arrived in this country, though he might be daily expected. The hon. Gentleman would, he was sure, agree in the course taken, and that her Majesty's Government could not take any definite step till they had been in communication with Consul M'Gregor. This was the only bar to the active resumption of communications with Hanover on the subject; and though this was not the time or the place for vindicating the conduct of the Government, he agreed that British commerce had a right to demand a promotion of its interests, and that the vigilant and sedulous attention of the Government ought to be given to the matter. He had admitted that negotiations ought to be continued to bring about a speedy settlement, and after what he had said, he did not think the hon. Gentleman would be surprised if he declared this was not the time when the House should be called upon to vote "an humble address to her Majesty, praying that she will be graciously pleased to direct that there be laid before this House copies of any correspondence which may have taken place between her Majesty's Government and that of Hanover, relative to the taxes levied on British commerce and navigation in the river Elbe, under the name of Stade tolls." All the objections to the premature disclosure of negotiations in progress applied to the motion of the hon. Gentleman, and he did not think that the prospects of British commerce ought to be painted in such dismal colours as the hon. Gentleman had painted them.

Mr. Labouchere

said, that the hon. Member for Gateshead, who had before conferred much service on Commercial interests, had conferred additional obligations on those interests by bringing forward this motion upon the present occasion. He had listened with considerable anxiety to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, for the former communications to the House had left the question in an unsatisfactory position, and his anxiety upon the matter had not been lessened by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. Some things had come out in the course of the right hon. Gentleman's speech which afforded grounds for apprehension to one who had watched most anxiously, as he had done, the progress of this question. It appeared, that the Government had departed from the principle laid down by his noble Friend the late Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in which this country required as the basis of negotiation that the duties should be fixed at a maximum of 1–16th ad valorem. He knew that his noble Friend had come to that determination after great consideration, after long research, and after full consultation with those who were able to give an opinion. Thus the hon. Member for Gateshead had stated it, and it had not been denied by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, that the Government had originally adopted the views of his noble Friend, and that Lord Aberdeen bad written a despatch to that effect. He was satisfied that unless some simple plan were adoped as a basis, the negotiations would be almost endless; and he regretted to hear the right hon. Gentleman treat his noble Friend's as an extreme view of the case, and say that the Government was prepared, on the part of England, to abandon it. He feared, therefore, if any progress had been made in the negotiations, that it had been purchased by an abandonment of the rights and interests of British commerce. He agreed also with his hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead in thinking it most unfortunate that her Majesty's Government, instead of carrying on the negotiations with Hanover continuously, should have allowed any agent to attend the conference of the Elbe-bordering states at Dresden, watching what might turn up there, and suspending all negotiations in the mean time. He was the more surprised at this, knowing the position taken up by Hanover, that the Stade dues were not a river duty, but a sea toll. If this were true, what could the river-bor- dering states which met at Dresden have to do with it? for their whole power, by the Congress of Vienna, was limited to river dues. How the Government could treat these as river dues, and allow the river-bordering states to discuss them, he did not know. To allow those states to settle the question, and to send Mr. M'Gregor to the congress, was one of the most extraordinary ways of conducting the public business he had ever known. The question mainly rested with the department for foreign affairs. He was not aware that this department was over-burthened with labour during the late Session; and he could, therefore, find no excuse for the delay. He could not help thinking that this shilly-shallying —one day adopting the principle of his noble Friend of 1-16th ad valorem, and the next day giving it up—at one time negotiating directly with Hanover, and then suspending negotiations and waiting for the conference at Dresden, to see what could be got there—must produce the effect upon Hanover of making her believe that we were not serious. If this mode were to go on till this Government had satisfied the Hanoverian government, this gross imposition on the commerce of this country—this unjust interpretation of the treaty would go on, and the question would be drawn out ad infinitum. It should be recollected that the party with whom we were dealing had a great interest in the delay. The King of Hanover was in possession of those lucrative tolls, and he was well satisfied that the British Government should go to Dresden and Hamburg, whilst in the meantime the tolls went into his treasury. He was glad to find that the Government had a full sense of the importance of the subject, and that it was desirous to effect a speedy settlement; but he felt that if the negotiation now to be recommenced were not conducted with better spirit, that a steady and satisfactory conclusion was not at hand. The commerce of the country had been for a long time injured by the Stade tolls, and, at any rate, he for one thanked his hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead for bringing forward his motion—the notice taken of the matter by the House could not but do good.

Mr. Ewart

said, the President of the Board of Trade, had not told the House what the Government would do, and even refused the correspondence. He was sorry to say that the proceedings of the foreign department of our Government had not been marked by energy and vigour; that it had been marked by a system of vacillation the most unsatisfactory to the parties interested. He believed if the objections to the production of the whole of the correspondence existed, there were parts of it which might be fit for public inspection; and if the hon. Member should press his motion he should support it.

Dr. Bowring

could not help thinking that the tone and spirit of the proceedings of the Government, in reference to this matter, were such as were to be deeply deplored. The tolls which were demanded were most humiliating to the English merchant and passenger, were most annoying and vexatious to those who were exposed to them. He thought that the ad valorem duty of 1–16th would be paid with satisfaction; but at the same time he thought that the King of Hanover was not entitled to the toll at all; that the claim was altogether untenable: and he believed that when the Government came to the settlement which was proposed—a settlement granted by this country with great liberality—from that time the question would be settled.

Sir Robert Peel

felt that the Government could not, consistently with their duty, enter at large into this discussion, and he hoped that as this negotiation was not concluded, the House would give the Government that confidence which they had not forfeited, and which the House had been hitherto disposed to give them. He did not contest the principle on which hon. Gentlemen opposite contended that this dispute should be brought to an end. He did not think that any prejudice should be raised against the King of Hanover on the ground of the pension which he received, but, on the other hand, he should contend that the peculiar relations existing between this country and that Sovereign did not entitle him to require from Great Britain any concession of her just rights. At the same time, however, he thought that before this country resorted to their extreme right—an application to force—they ought to be perfectly satisfied of the justice of their claim. There was no doubt that this country might compel obedience to their demands, on account of the superior power which we possessed; but it was that very power which ought to make this country reluctant to apply that force, unless convinced of the justice of their claim. The hon. Gentleman had complained of the delay which had arisen in the settlement of this question. He admitted that British merchants had a right to be impatient for that settlement. The present Government had not yet effected any satisfactory adjustment of the subject. Terms had been proposed by the Government to Hanover, which had been acceded to; it had been felt from the outset that it would be of great importance that there should be a settlement of the whole question rather with a view to general commercial purposes, than with a view merely to the particular interests of this country. With such an object, there was no doubt that it was desirable that the claims of Great Britain should be postponed, in order that the interests of all nations should be adjusted; while on the other hand it could not be denied, that the general settlement of the question would conduce to the advantage of Great Britain. The noble Lord the Foreign Secretary had attempted to effect a distinct arrangement on the part of this country, but the King of Hanover had declined to accept the terms offered. The question was then taken up by the bordering states of the Elbe, but this country had never been bound, nor had ever admitted itself to be bound, by any arrangements they might make. The interests of many of those states were adverse to our own, and there was nothing more absurd than to suppose that we could pledge ourselves to abide by their arrangements. We were, on the contrary, perfectly free from all obligations on account of any arrangements which they might make, and we were perfectly at liberty to treat for ourselves; and we were, therefore, in a position to make such arrangements as should be most consistent with justice and with the interests of the commerce of this country. It was certainly of the highest importance that we should have an accredited agent on the spot during the negotiations; and whatever opinions hon. Gentlemen might have formed, great weight was due to any representations which might be made in respect to the interests of the commerce of this country, or to the general arrangements on the subject by the Government, who had been entrusted with his duty. He could only repeat that we had never been committed by any acts of the Elbe-bordering states — that we had never considered ourselves identified with them; he believed that an onerous tax was imposed on our commerce by the Stade dues—that it was fit that some satisfactory adjustment of the question should be made. He regretted the delay which had arisen, but contended that the Government was not in any sense responsible for that delay, and was not open to the reflections which had been cast upon it in consequence of its occurrence. The subject was one which should occupy the attention of the Government, but he must resist the motion of the hon. Gentleman, and if he should persist in pressing it, he trusted that the House would, by a considerable majority, negative his proposition.

Viscount Palmerston

confessed that nothing could be less satisfactory to his mind than the course taken on this occasion by the Government, except that which they had pursued in reference to these tolls. He thought that the Government had given a great many very bad reasons for not producing the papers moved for by the hon. Member for Gateshead, and had made a great number of very indifferent statements of the steps which they had taken in the course of these negotiations. He should like to know whether the statement of his hon. Friend was true. He had stated that when the present Government had come into office, the first step which they took was to declare that they had adopted the views which had been followed out by their predecessors; but neither the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, nor the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, had admitted or denied this statement. As this was so, however, he was entitled to suppose that the proposition was true, and he must say that if it were, if the British Government, in the full belief that it was their duty to act upon those views, had submitted to further injustice, they had been guilty of the greatest injustice to their own country. He maintained that in the correspondence which had taken place before the late Government had gone out of office, it had been established that Hanover had no right whatever to levy any greater duty than 1–16th per cent., and if the right hon. Baronet stated, that it would be inconvenient for the Government to produce the whole of the correspondence which had passed since they came into office, he begged that they would lay on the Table of the House, at least so much as had passed previously to the retirement of the late Government, which would exhibit, on the one hand, the view taken by Hanover, and on the other, the British refutation of that view. It had been said that a part of the delay which had arisen, lay at the door of the late Government; undoubtedly some years had elapsed before they had taken up the case, but even the present Government admitted, that when they had done so, they had not allowed any unnecessary delay to occur in their proceedings. It was, therefore, very different from the fact of such delay having taken place, that the present Government should not yet have brought this matter to a satisfactory conclusion. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had stated, that the matter had made very considerable progress, for that, in the first place, there were various matters in dispute, but that now they had arrived at a point on which they could not possibly agree. It did not seem to him, he confessed, that this was a very satisfactory progress. The right hon. Gentleman had found the case in a position in which there was a disagreement, and after a year and a half he declared that great progress had been made, for that they had come to another point, at which they could not agree. He could not agree in any proposition of compromise, for he could not admit that in a case in which the commercial interests of the country were concerned, and in which the British Government possessed proofs that their claim was founded in justice, we ought to meet the King of Hanover half way in our concessions, because he insisted on that which he was not entitled to maintain. Then what had been done? It appeared that the King of Hanover had persisted in rejecting our claims. He was ready to acknowledge that his Majesty had not admitted the justice of our reasoning; but when the late Government was in office they had refused to give up the point on which they took their stand. But this being so, the Government had chosen to suspend the negotiations, to await the result of the negotiations between the King of Hanover and the Elbe states. He was at a loss to understand the grounds on which that result was looked for. It was not admitted by the present Government that this was a river toll; the King of Hanover had always denied that it was, and that denial had been repeatedly asserted in the correspondence which had taken place. Then, this being so, what authority, he asked, had the Elbe commission to settle the question? The Government denied also that they were bound by this commission, and admitting this, they had assumed a most unbecoming position in suspending their negotiations with a view to its decision. If their proceedings did not interest us, was it fit, he asked, that we should have sent an agent to watch them; if they did, ought we not to have sent a man competent to act for us, and to represent our interests? We had, however, sent Mr. M'Gregor without power or authority, without any character except that of a watch over the proceedings of a body whose determination the Government professed to repudiate. Then it was said, would it not be better that this question should be set at rest in reference to the interests of all nations, rather than with regard to this nation only. He totally differed from this proposition. He saw no advantage in any such course of proceeding. That which he complained of was a burden on British commerce. He presumed that the Government were not going to set themselves up as the champions of other nations; if they were, it was a pity that the commercial interests of other countries were not placed in more active hands. All that the Government had to accomplish, in his opinion,' was to relieve this country from those burthens to which it was exposed. The conduct of the present Government in this matter presented a great contrast to that of her Majesty's late Government in reference to the Sound 'dues. Denmark had for a long period of time continued to demand tolls of an undue amount. The Government entered into negotiations with that country; they had shown to demonstration that the tolls demanded were not only higher in amount, but more vexatious in the mode of collection than was justified by any rights which Denmark possessed, and Denmark acted with honour and propriety. Unwilling to persist in wrong, in the most creditable manner it acceded to our representations, and lowered the tolls in conformity with that which we showed to be a just rate of duties. The present Government, however, had been unable to procure any settlement with Hanover; no prospect had been held out that the King of Hanover was prepared to admit our rights; but, on the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had made a most ominous statement in his speech, that the Government was prepared to make great concessions of our rights, and that if the King of Hanover should consent to make the sacrifice required of him, an adjustment might be looked for. The right hon. Baronet had said that the papers for which the hon. Member had moved could not be produced. This was a statement made by a Minister of the Crown, to which the House was bound to give effect, and he trusted that the hon. Gentleman would not persist in taking the sense of the House on this subject; but he would entreat the Government to consider whether, although they could not produce the whole of it, they would not lay on the Table that portion of the correspondence which contained the statement of the claims on each side. He was sure that, although the hon. Member might withdraw this motion, the Government would be thankful to him for this opportunity of expressing their intention to maintain the cause of this country; they must feel that the strong manifestation of feeling on the part of the House upon the subject would strengthen them in the part which they must take in any negotiations which might be pending. He trusted that the Hanoverian government would not be misled by any consent of the hon. Gentleman to allow this motion to pass by default, with an apprehension that that House did not watch this matter as one deeply interesting to the commercial relations of this country.

Mr. Hutt

expressed his intention to adopt the course recommended by the noble Lord.

Motion withdrawn.